Santa Barbara’s rich heritage comes alive during the first week in August with the music, dance, and pageantry of Old Spanish Days Fiesta, the granddaddy of city celebrations, reaching back to 1925. The 5-day party, August 5 – August 9, 2020, opens with La Fiesta Pequeña — the little festival — on the steps of the Old Mission Santa Barbara, with traditional flamenco and folklorico dance performances. On Friday, at noon, El Desfile Historico —the historical parade that also happens to be one of the world’s largest equestrian parades — brings out colorful floats, marching bands, traditional horse-drawn carriages, and dozens of carefully coordinated equestrian groups with their ornately caparisoned steeds, as the lithe Spirit of Fiesta dancer leads the cavalcade up State Street. All during Fiesta, live bands are on stage at El Mercados, where community groups serve up tacos, enchiladas, tamales, and more; flamenco, classical Spanish, and folk dancers perform at the evening Noches de Ronda on the County Courthouse lawn; and aficionados of horsemanship can watch modern-day vaqueros roping and riding at the nightly rodeo at Earl Warren Showgrounds. Viva la Fiesta!